Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Chihauhaus rule. The funniest bike race on the UCI calendar.

with 8 comments

Maybe you missed this classic race. The Vuelta Ciclista Chihuahua Internacional. Yes, chihuahua, like the yappy little dog that, surprise, comes from the town in Mexico where they run the esteemed bike race.

Yes, this is hilariously true. A race named after a toy dog. Sort of like if there was a Tour de Poodle or a Giro del Gerbil. This Mexican Vuelta is the real deal, a 2.1 UCI cat race. Oscar Sevilla has done this race, Francisco Mancebo of Rock Racing has won the Chihauhua twice already. Dos chihuahuas, amigo! (Don’t make fun of chihuahuas in this part of Mexico or they take a switchblade to your brake cables and neck.)

But wait, the story (and the race) just gets weirder. Former Rabobank star Michael Rasmussen, the man booted from the Tour de France with the yellow jersey on his emaciated, Buchenwald back, plans to ride the Chihauhua. The Danish climber is nicknamed the Chicken — a Chicken in the Chihauhua. Apparently his wife is Mexican (true) and she loves small, rodent-like dogs nominally involved in bike racing (speculation). The town moto is “bravery, loyalty and hospitality,” which might be what you need to invite the blood-doping, centrifuge-buying Danish rider.

If you love the unique humor inherent in mangled translation, check out this nugget from a bizarre write-up on the Pan American Cycling Federation website. It reads like they went from Spanish to Chinese to English: “Rasmussen is registered again with the Tecos Trek, since then we have loved, we must not forget that in 2007 when he was leading the Tour of France, was removed from the fair, accused of doping, in a movement in the which was a plot.” Is that comic and yet touching and beautiful in a strange way?

Mancebo: "I want THREE chihauhuas.

Mancebo: "I want THREE chihuahuas.

By now, you’re thinking “I have to see this race.” Yeah, Paris-Tours or the Giro de Lombardia is exciting but wow, this race where pro cyclists chase a chihauhua across Mexico, now that’s the pinnacle of cycling action. Well no, they don’t chase a chihauhua — it’s not greyhound racing. There may be a cock fighting match in one of the team buses — can’t really say.

I would not expect the roads to be crowded with chihuahuas on leashes held by sassy senoritas in tight red leather mini-skirts all yipping and yappy as Seville or Mancebo go tearing by. The dogs, not the senoritas. That sounds like an old Taco Bell commercial for those step-above-dog food chalupas. Having spent my entire Useful Working Life writing TV spots, that campaign is a classic. Which reminds us, what about a new Powerbar or Clif Bar flavor that’s called fish taco? That sounds … horrific.

There, case concluded. Deluge Versus with e-mails — “I demand full stage-by-stage coverage of the Vuelta Ciclista Chihuahua!” Insist that Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen be dispatched immediately to lend their vocal gravity to this singular event. Force cyclingtv and Universal Sports to take affirmative action. The Tour de Runty Mexican Dog begins in less than a week. We must have stories, photos, insightful coverage and a few pics of chihuahuas biting Rasmussen’s tiny buttocks.

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Written by walshworld

September 30, 2009 at 3:13 am

8 Responses

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  1. walshworld,

    I think Paul Sherwood is Phil Liggin’s broadcasting partner. Phil Liggett usually works with Paul Sherwen.

    Adios.

    Stavros

    September 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  2. So what is up with Versus and Directv? We now have Universal Sports, which appears to be an NBC affiliate. They showed the Vuelta and the road races in Switzerland last weekend, so I have hopes for seeing more cycling on tv. But without Paul and Phil I fear it will seem empty and lonely. Any scoop you’ve got, I’d appreciate hearing. Thanks! A TX fan.

    Jennifer

    October 2, 2009 at 3:44 am

    • Hey Jennifer from Texas, You down Armstrong way in Austin? Versus is still the best place for the TDF but after that online places like steephill.tv and cycling.tv seem to be good places to steam but you pay for most of it. I watched the entire Veulta on Universal for free with english commentary that was great (but no Phil and Paul) but they had no commentary on the Worlds– which was both strange and disconcerting to watch. Glad you’re enjoying the blog. There’s not a lot of cycling coverage with a humorous slant (I hope it’s humorous) so I’m trying to create that niche. Any ideas or constructive criticism is welcome.

      walshworld

      October 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

  3. [...] Javier Benitez (Contentpolis) won his second dogfight in the Vuelta Chihuahua. Todays’ etapa odometer read 117 kilometers from Cuauhtemoc to San Juanito. Another smokin’ day in the Chihuahua, the race of the yapping toy dog. [...]

  4. Hi everyone,

    Well this writing is characteristic of a person that never goes farther than his downtown and spends a lot of time eating junk food…… as Taco Bell!

    Chihuahua is a state and a city in Mexico. The dog was called after the state because this dog race was found there…..

    Rafa

    October 9, 2009 at 6:34 am

    • Hi Rafa, thanks for reading in spite of the difference in opinion. To answer your guesses about my characterists: I do leave downtown fairly often and have been to Cuba, Peru and Mexico. I’ve ridden the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride four times (always a terrific time) and I get down to Mexico on vacation usually once a year if possible. I love Mexico and one of my biggest regrets is that I don’t speak Spanish. I have a degree in French and that doesn’t help me too much south of the border. One of the upcoming blog posts I was planning on doing as part of the CHihuahua series was simply about how much fun I have in Mexico and why that’s the case.

      Obviously, I’m having plenty of fun with the whole chihuahua thing. This race hardly gets any coverage outside Latin America so you could say any attention is good. But I’m hoping that in all the fun you also see some affection. I’ve written about famous son Anthony Quinn, a little history of the chihuahua breed, the fascinating Mennonite community in the area and as I said I really enjoy Mexico. If I didn’t have a job, I’d do a post on that Copper Canyon area that looks stunning, etc etc.

      Now as far as eating at Taco Bell, you’d have to know I live in the San Francisco bay area, the epicenter of organic cuisine and that my wife is practically a chef. I haven’t eated at Taco Bell in decades nor would I have reason to. If you read the book Fast Food Nation, you know Taco Bell has the lowest food standards in the industry. No chalupas for me, my friend.

      Finally, the Chihuahua question. Although I go more for enetrtainment and comedy in my race coverage, I make an effort not to mangle facts unless it’s for a laugh. The basic page one wikipedia on Chihauhua says that it’s a state and city in Mexico. Hard to miss that and I don’t think we’re disputing that. I couldn’t tell what else you were driving at there. We’re also in agreement with the dog and state question so maybe I missed something.

      Again, I appreciate you taking the time to read and hope you’ll keep on. I’ve gotten some really good response on the coverage of the race, fun and all. You might disagree but publicity is publicity and that is a good thing for the Vuelta a Chihuahua. For me, the more I dug into the stories, the more I want to see the race in person. Someday…

      walshworld

      October 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  5. Walsh (if I may), let’s ignore the thin-skinned Rafas, since the rest of us appreciate the wild humor here in your blog. Keep it coming – Aiii-CHihuahua!!

    bruce

    October 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    • Thanks Bruce, every email is motivation to write at least another 50 posts before the wife divorces me. She said today “I’m starting to feel like a cycling blog widow.” Look for Paris-Tours coverage tommorrow. Adios. Matt

      walshworld

      October 11, 2009 at 12:57 am


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